Fox's Van Susteren Falsely Claims White House Didn't Connect Texas Shooting To Terrorism

Fox host Greta Van Susteren claimed the White House “has not yet connected” the Garland, TX shooting to terrorism. In fact, the White House described the shooting as “an attempted terrorist act” earlier that day. 

On May 5, the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) claimed responsibility for the May 3 shooting in Garland. CNN noted that the group “offered no evidence” of their connection to the attack, and quoted an FBI agent saying the shooters “may not have had formal contact” with ISIS and that he did not think “they were directed by ISIS.”

On that day's edition of Fox News' On the Record, host Greta Van Susteren claimed that “the White House has not yet connected this to terrorism,” and asked: “Is the Obama administration being overly cautious and could it hurt national security?” 

But the White House had referred to the shooting as an act of terrorism earlier that day. White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that what “we can say definitively, because of the quick, professional, brave work of local law enforcement forces, is an attempted terrorist act was foiled.”

The criticism represents another instance of a long-standing trope at Fox News. Fox has repeatedly suggested that President Obama did not call the Benghazi terror attack an act of terror. In 2014, an on-screen timeline asserted the White House did not call the attack an act of terror until September 20, when in fact Obama described it as such in his initial statement on September 12. In January, Fox personalities were not satisfied by the White House calling the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack an “act of terror” and insisted the administration specifically mention “Islamist terror.” Last year, Fox host Ainsley Earhardt complained that Obama had referred to the Pakistani Taliban terror attack as “terrorism” but had not specifically mentioned the Taliban.

UPDATE: On the May 6 edition of her Fox News show, Van Susteren issued a clarification of her statement that the White House didn't call the Texas shooting a terrorist attack, explaining, “I chose my words wrong”: 

VAN SUSTEREN: [L]ast night, I tried making the point during On the Record that the White House would not or could not directly engage in conversation about whether the attack in Texas was the direct work of ISIS. However, that point didn't come across. I chose my words wrong, making it seem like the White House wasn't calling the Texas attack terrorism.